How to Get Paint Off Tires With 4 Easy DIY Methods

Did you just spraypaint your wheels and accidentally get spraypaint or road paint on the tires? Or did you just get your brand new set of rims sprayed already and now have to deal with the fact that they’re both painted white?

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Either way, here’s how to get paint off tires using Do-it-yourself (DIY) methods.

How to get paint off tires?

You can easily remove accidental overspray with household products like alcohol, baking soda, or vegetable oil. Just remember not to use thinner to get paint off tires. It will strip the moisture from your tire, which is what keeps them protected against cracking.

1. Scotch Pad and Alcohol

Overspray is paint that lands on an area you didn’t want it to. It usually happens when you spray paint your rims without masking off an area because you’re lazy.


The problem is overspray lands on your tires and doesn’t look too good. Sometimes it’s white, sometimes it’s silver, sometimes it’s a weird color.

Overspray on tires is pretty thin so you can easily get spraypaint off tires with a scotch pad and rubbing alcohol.

Materials that you will need

  1. Scotch Pad
  2. Rubbing Alcohol
  3. Cloth rug
  4. Water (pressure washer if you have any)

Step 1 First you’ll need to get your tires clean of dirt and dust.

To do this, wash your tires with a pressure washer with a green nozzle. Then wash them again to ensure there’s no loose dirt on them.

Step 2 Put some alcohol on your Scotch Pad and begin scrubbing the paint off your tires.

Step 3 Use a clean, dry towel to remove excess alcohol and make sure the area is completely dry.

This method needs a little elbow grease, but it’s the best way to get overspray paint off of tires. Here’s a video from BoutenkoFilms to show you how it’s done.

2. Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

If the alcohol and Scotch did not help you, try this.

Materials that you’ll need:

  1. Baking Soda 
  2. Lemon juice (or vinegar)
  3. Dish Soap
  4. Bowl Rubber Gloves A rag or towel

Step 1 Wash your tires with a high-pressure hose to remove any loose dirt.

Step 2 Mix together baking soda, water, and dish soap. You want it to be thick enough that the mixture sticks together.

Step 3 Sprinkle your baking soda mixture onto your tires and let it sit for 1-2 hours.

Step 4 Use a towel to wipe off the mixture and clean up any loose residue with water, then dry the area out with another dry towel.

Step 5 Add some lemon juice or vinegar to a bowl filled with water and dip your tires in it slowly. Leave the mixture on for about 10-15 minutes so they can soak up the mixture.

Caution: Lemon juice is acidic in nature. You may want to try with a small area first.

Step 6 Remove the tires from the mixture, dry them off with another towel and see if you still see any paint left on your tires. If any remnants of the paint remain, repeat steps 2-6.

Step 7 If you have access to a power washer or compressed air, clean your tires off with that instead of using water and a rag to dry them off.

3. Scotch Pad and Vegetable Oil

If baking soda and lemon juice didn’t do the job, you can try another effective method on how to get paint off tires. 

Vegetable oil can remove dried paint just as easily as the other methods, and will give your wheels a shiny, new look.

Materials that you will need:

  1. Vegetable oil
  2. Scotch Pad Rubber
  3. Cloth rug
  4. High-pressure hose (optional)

Step 1 Wash your tires with water to remove any loose dirt or dust from the tires.

Step 2 Apply a generous amount of vegetable oil and let it sit for 60 minutes.

Step 3 Use a clean scotch pad to scrub off the paint and wipe it down with a rag or towel.

Step 4 If you have access to a high-pressure hose, use that to remove any excess oil and moisture from your tires.

4. Concentrated Bug and Tar Remover 

If you drive through a construction area where they’re painting the roads, there’s a high chance that road paint will end up on your tires. Further, it will be a real pain to get off if it gets to the sidewall.

You can try a bug and tar remover if all else fails.

What you’ll need:

  1. Concentrated Bug and Tar Remover
  2. Soft bristle brush
  3. Soap and water
  4. Sponge

Step 1 Scrub the bug and tar remover onto the area where you see road paint and let it sit for 15 minutes.

Step 2 Use a soft bristle brush to scrub off the paint and any loose tar on your tires.

Step 3 If there’s still paint left over, you can wash the area with a sponge and soap, and water to loosen up any dried paint that remains on the tire.

Step 4 Use an old rag or towel to dry out the area after removing all of the excess paint.

This method is a little bit more complicated than the others, but it works just as effectively. The above methods are proven to work effectively on how to get paint

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Get Paint Off Tires

Will paint thinner damaged tires?

Lacquer thinner and paint thinner are strong solvents that can be used to dissolve, remove, or strip away the paint. However, it will most likely strip at least a few oils off the tire surface. The tires may become more susceptible to cracking, brittleness, and chalkiness, etc.

Will sandpaper damaged tires?

It depends. Sandpaper is safe for the rubber, however, if it’s too rough it can damage the surface of your tires. You may want to try a soft sanding block or washing them with soap and water first before using any kind of paper on them.

Does Aircraft paint stripper harm tires?

Aircraft paint stripper should be fine for rubber, but you may want to try first the household items mentioned above and see what happens. 


We’ve shown you three simple ways to remove paint from your tires with household items. If one of these methods doesn’t work for you, try another until the paint is gone!

Don’t forget that sometimes less aggressive options are better than harsh chemicals which can strip moisture out of rubber and make it more susceptible to cracking or peeling. Take a look at our blog post on how to keep your tires looking great all year long.

You may also consider purchasing a tire sealant like Armor All Tire Protectant so your wheels stay clean and safe from damage.

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